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Power-Interest grid for stakeholder participation

Aim of the tool
To be able to prioritize your stakeholders; it helps you know who the supporters and detractors of your intervention are

When to use it?
This tool can be used when you want to know how to strategically work with your stakeholders

Degree of difficulty
– moderate – for experienced users/facilitators

It can help you assess the feasibility of your intervention’s activity. It also shows intervention staff which stakeholders they should be trying to empower and vice versa.

Description of the tool

This tool maps the power and influence that stakeholders have on an intervention. It helps intervention staff to determine which stakeholders they need to focus on and the actions they should take

Steps involved when using the tool

  • Step 1. Brainstorm with your group on who your stakeholders are
  • Step 2. Prioritize stakeholders according to those who have the power and can influence your intervention and those who have an interest in your intervention (see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: Matrix showing power / interest quadrants

The position of the stakeholders on the matrix shows you the actions you have to take with them:

    • High power, interested people: you should fully engage with these people and make a strong effort to satisfy them
    • High power, less interested people: to keep these people satisfied, but not to the extent that they become bored with your message
    • Low power, interested people: keep these people adequately informed, talk to them from time to time to ensure that there no major issues cropping up. These people can often be very helpful, especially with the details of your intervention 
    • Low power, less interested people: keep in contact with these people, but do not bore them with excessive communication.
  • Step 3. Understand what motivates your stakeholders and how you can get them to support your intervention. Ask yourself the questions below to help you through this step:
    • What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or negative?
    • What motivates them?
    • What information do they want from you?
    • In what format do they want their information? What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
    • What do they think about your work? Is it based on good information?
    • Who influences their opinions, and who influences their opinion of you? Are some of these influencers important stakeholders in their own right?
    • If they are not likely to be positive, what will get them to support your intervention?
    • If you don't think you will be able to get their support, how will you manage without their support?
    • Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Are these people stakeholders in their own right?
  • Step 4: Discuss the stakeholder map in broad terms: it will help you to see which stakeholders are expected to hinder/criticise your activities, and which stakeholders are likely to support or even promote the intervention. 
    • Use colours to show who your supporters are (green), those who hinder you (red), and those who are neutral (blue).
    • Discuss the different ways that you can perhaps engage these people

Figure 2: Matrix showing the positions of some of your stakeholders 

From Figure 2 you can see that you will have to put a lot of effort into convincing Jennifer Keystone about the benefits of the intervention whereas Ester Da Vinci, who is neutral and powerful, should be kept well informed about the intervention.


Source: DFID (2003)

Sources and further readings

Taken mainly from:

Useful links